Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night and instead of tossing and turning, anxious about "all I have to do tomorrow", think about Jesus being born at night. We've been told that, yes? "And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night." Luke 2: 8
Here is a 17th century icon (a blend of Italian and Greek influences) of the Mother of God nursing her Infant. She is called Theotokos Milk-Giver or Theotokos, Nourisher of Life. This title originated in the time of the Monophysite heresy which taught that the human nature of Jesus was absorbed by the divine nature. That an all powerful God would never allow himself to be so degraded by taking on human nature. And to show a resistance to that heresy, the image of Mary nursing the Infant Christ was painted.
God became one of us and was held in a mother's womb, and needed a breast full of milk, needed to be soothed, comforted, washed and rocked to sleep. And if I get that, really get that, then nothing is ever again the same for me.
In the icon, the Holy Mother and the Child look at us. Mary's expression is pleasant, as if to say to the viewer, "Yes, it's true. God is no mirage, but really here with us in this nursling." And the icon is dark probably from age, incense and candle smoke, but also perhaps indicating the world's dark condition. And Mary's red maphorion is whipped up in a wind gust - the winds of the world's hate and terror?
The article we can click on here: I'm Pro-Life, and Pro-Refugee, is from Tuesday's OP-ED page of the New York Times (February 7, 2017). It is written by Scott Arbeiter, President of World Relief, and deserves a thoughtful read. Why? Because God came into our death-dealing world truly, in need of a Milk-Giving Mother. And because of that nothing is ever again the same - my whole mind is changed about life.